There has been significant activity across campus since the January 1 expansion of the Activities and Programs with Minor Participants policy. From increased program registration to policy trainings, the Ohio State community has been working diligently to make campus an even safer and more enriching environment for minors.
Here are some key updates on the most impactful policy outcomes:
- Registration: More than 300 activities and programs have registered, and more are coming in on a daily basis. All currently running programs should be registered and upcoming programs should be registered at least 60 days in advance, when possible. The required timeline for registration is before the activity or program begins.
- Training: Nearly 2,000 individuals have taken the policy training on Carmen and many programs have received in-person training. The policy specifies that training be completed by everyone working with minors in activities and programs before they interact with the minors.
- Reporting: There is situational evidence that the policy training is effective. Across campus and the state, employees and volunteers working with minors have recognized situations that occurred outside of the program relating to a minor’s wellbeing or safety, and reported those concerns appropriately.
- Background Checks: A number of programs and activities that did not require background checks in the past have completed background checks for faculty, staff and volunteers, in addition to those programs already required to have a background check prior to January 1. Please review the background check resource guide if you have questions on the process. Please remember that programs have until July 1, 2015, to comply with the background check component of the policy.
- Standards of Behavior: Consultations have been given to programs regarding how to structure programming so that intentional one-on-one interactions do not occur, and the success rate has been high. This document identifies applicable standards of behavior and all people working with minors must sign it annually before the program or activity starts.
- Exemption Process: To date, few programs have requested an exemption and OHR has been able to work with those programs to find a solution that mitigates risk while still providing high-quality programming.
Upcoming projects include establishing the site-visit process and enhancing future trainings. We hope to put trainings on a four-year rotating basis to cover this important material in unique ways so that the information is not repetitive each year.
As always, please continue to spread the word on the policy and provide us with your feedback. Do not hesitate to reach out to Lindsay Meyer Bond, Youth Policy Coordinator, if you have any questions or concerns.
Lindsay Meyer Bond
Youth Policy and Special Projects Coordinator